Francescas lives up to the expectations with quality food and great value for money.

Having heard good things from friends and co-workers as well as reading the positive Tripadvisor reviews for Francescas, I was looking forward to visiting the Italian restaurant on Duke Street, Barrow.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a friendly member of staff with a smile.

The interior gives a slice of Italy to the Cumbrian coast with family photos and tasteful paintings of Italian architecture decorating the walls.

After being shown to my table the waiting staff remained attentive and accommodating.

The menu is wide ranging with almost too much food to choose from. I was happy to take a little extra time to read through the whole menu before making a decision.

For a starter I had smoked salmon, served on a bed of lettuce with cress, carrots, sweetcorn, tomato and a slice of lemon.

All of the vegetables tasted fresh with the lettuce nice and crunchy. The salad dressing complemented the salmon nicely, it is sometimes the case where it is slightly overpowering but at Francescas the two blended well together.

The salmon itself was lovely, it tasted fresh and brought together an all-round very enjoyable starter.

The portions were generous, particularly for a starter. This was appreciated as I’ve never been a fan of restaurants trying to ‘decorate’ a plate with a minimal amount of food and calling it a meal.

For the main, I felt the urge for pasta. Often when ordering Italian food, I fall in to the habit of ordering a pizza, but upon seeing the Pasta Sicilia, I knew I’d found the dish for me.

I was given a choice of different types of pasta which was a welcome surprise as not all Italian restaurants offer this. It was certainly an extra consideration which was much appreciated.

The pasta Sicilia was made up of chicken, bacon, spring onions and pepper stir fired in olive oil.

Again, the meal arrived promptly but with enough time to break so I didn’t feel like I was being rushed out of the restaurant.

Both the chicken and the bacon were well cooked, the pasta was nicely balanced and wasn’t too soft or too firm.

The peppers were crunchy without being undercooked and the olive oil dressing enhanced the flavour of the dish without making it to oily.

Like the starter, the portion sizes for the main was generous. Nobody could accuse the chef at Francescas of ever under feeding their guests.

One of the only negative remarks I would make was the amount of time I spent waiting to be asked if I wanted dessert or the bill. This was slightly disappointing but certainly wasn’t meal defining and such a shame as the service was great up to this point.

For dessert, I’ve always been a big fan of Italian sorbet so there was little question on what I would choose to finish the meal.

The lemon sorbet was perfectly fine, not as vibrant as other sorbets I have been served at different Italian restaurants but still very much enjoyable.

The dish was nicely presented with wafers and lemon skin used to give the sorbet a little extra finesse.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal at Francescas and will certainly return. I think I will struggle to find another restaurant nearby offering quality food at such an affordable price. With the whole meal coming to just under £20, it is excellent value for money.



Service: 4

Atmosphere: 3

Value: 5


great value for money

quality food


The disappointing wait after the main

The slightly lacklustre sorbet